The Health Care Council of the Lehigh Valley has taken an excellent approach to Community Health. Their recently released “The Road to Health” evaluates the health of the Lehigh Valley community. If you haven’t read through it yet, definitely read through it now.
This new report gives an excellent overview of the state of health in the Lehigh Valley, something Renew Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium touched upon at the State of the Lehigh Valley luncheon in February 2012. But this report follows up on the call to action issued at the end of our luncheon; it shows where we are and where we have to go in order to be healthy.
A healthy community is a sustainable community. And it’s one reason why I wanted to highlight the Health Care Council’s work. When organizations like Renew Lehigh Valley and outreach efforts like Envision Lehigh Valley seek to plan for the future in a smarter and more efficient way, we often get into our silos. Yet, why can’t we see the larger picture? Envision Lehigh Valley may be one effort to plan for a sustainable future for the Lehigh Valley to ensure a high quality of life, but “The Road to Health” is doing the same thing just in a different arena. We all are working for the same goal.
It’s like a Venn Diagram. One outreach effort in the Valley is focused on land use and economic development, another is focused on community health, and yet another is focused on education and the connection to the neighborhoods. They all have the same goal, and that center area where all the circles overlap is where we must focus our efforts. If we are to make the Lehigh Valley a sustainable community, we must all work together and support our various efforts.
So, I encourage you to join us at one of the Health Care Council’s two health forums being held in our area. All those efforts in the Venn Diagram are seeking public input, as they should in order to truly have community support. So come out Wednesday, November 28th to the Fowler Family Center at Northampton Community College (511 E. 3rd St, Bethlehem) from 7-9pm OR join them Thursday, November 29th at the Salvation Army (144 N. 8th St, Allentown) from 7-9pm.
We’re all seeking to ensure a high quality, sustainable life in the Lehigh Valley. Let’s all work together to see the bigger picture, rather than individual puzzle pieces.